Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time for reflection

It has been over a year since last post.  And it has been a busy one.  Another grand daughter has arrived.  Sharon "retired" and has discovered that that is boring and since gone back to work.  Family invaded Lethbridge for 6 weeks.

In January, Kimmy and Scott had a little girl, Keltye Margel, their third.  And like all of our grand children she is a cutie and has Gama and Papa firmly under her control.  Not so much Mom and Dad but Gama and PaPa definitely.

At the end of January, Sharon was told that her employer had had a couple of complaints about her being rude to the customers and after 7 1/2 years 5 of which were as the asst. front end manager, her position was no longer available.  She enjoyed her time off and got a lot of things done that were being neglected.  With the girls and their families coming up for a family reunion this summer, she took full advantage of it.  About 4 or 5 weeks ago, I could tell she was getting kind of restless.  3 weeks ago we were driving down 13 Street by London Road Market.  She noticed that there was a "We are looking for..." on their main reader board and said I think I should apply.  The next day she did and started last week.

In June, Chrissy and her 4 and Dian and her little guy arrived for a summer with Gama and PaPa.  Jacob is in the "Sand Box" for his third tour and couldn't be with us and David was unable to get time off until late July.  We saw and did a whole lot of the sights in Southern Alberta.  We took the grand kids to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, Frank Slide, Fort Whoop Up, and Remington Carriage Centre.  While in the Crowsnest Pass at the Slide we also did a cemetery tour and did a few head stone rubbings.  Most of my family is buried in the Pass.

It was an interesting time.  For the better part of 2 months we had 8 grand children running around the house from 6 months to 10 years old.  5 of them were staying with us and the other 3 were there from the time they could get their mother to drop them off until she took them home kicking and screaming in the evening.  My youngest daughter also informed us, or rather her 18 month old son, informed us that there is a little brother on the way, on or near his birthday.

Last week one of my dear friends passed away.  He was a mentor and my master.  He literally saved my life 15 years ago.  For most of those 15 years I have spent 3  hours a day, 6 days a week with him.  At the time I started training martial arts with him I was over weight (much more so than I am now), with extremely high blood pressure, a boarder line type 2 diabetic, and had a temper that flared at little or no provocation.  I lost over 30 pounds, have my blood pressure under control, and have mellowed out to where my temper is of little or no consequence.  It goes to show that a fat, old man can take on a "extreme" sport and survive.  I now hold a black belt in karate, a black belt in self defense weapons, and a brown belt in ninjutsu and am a practitioner of iaido and ianuki (2 styles of sword).  I have studied in Germany and Columbia, and I have hosted and trained with people from all over Canada, the US, Europe, Central America, Columbia, Brazil, and Argentina.  He was a father figure after the loss of my father.  His family became a part of my extended family and I grew to love them as my brothers and sisters.

This week we had another major grass fire west of town.  Unlike the one in November, there were several large areas that were evacuated.  The town of Coalhurst just north of Lethbridge, Mountain Meadows and Sunset Acres west of town, a large part of the reserve and the county.  In the city the west side trailer court and River View Campground were evacuated and a big portion of the west side was put on notice.

I saw the smoke early in the afternoon and had just come in from taking pictures of the smoke as it was drifting over the west side when the phone rang. It was my boss  telling me he was about to ruin a day off.  I was to "Grab a uniform. Get down to the office and grab a traffic vest.  Get your backside to the Fritz Sick centre and report to Phil from the city.  You are now on duty as security at the evac centre.  I should have a replacement for you at 8pm.  Maybe."

I spent the next 5 hours telling people, and the press, where to go and how to get there.  At times the smoke in the downtown area was so thick visibility was less than 3 blocks.  Today going into the station for work, you could still smell the smoke in the air outside and in the building.  The fire burned over 4800 hectares or about 18.5 square miles.  Several houses and a lot of crops were destroyed.  There was also a large fire south of town around Milk River that resulted in the town being evacuated and with similar results.

I promised Sharon I would have her book shelves finished by the end of September and this set of days off got a good chunk done.  Basically it is final assembly and finishing that is left.  Pocket hole joinery has become my new favorite method of assembly.  I also am starting my Christmas projects.  I have one done and 3 more to do for non-family.  The next installment in construction toys are set for building for the grand kids.  RB (Roast Beef) the bearded dragon has put in a request for a larger terrarium.  I still have some room on the planner for other requests if any one is interested.  Hint.  Hint.

Enough of the ramble.  Till next time.